What is hospice?

Hospice palliative care can be provided in hospice inpatient facilities, hospital rest homes or in a person's home or place of residence in the community. Hospice is a philosophy of care.

Hospice or palliative care is a special type of care for people whose illness is no longer curable. It enables them to achieve the best possible quality of life and also supports their family/whanau and friends.

What services does hospice provide?

Hospice provides services based on the communities need. They may include inpatient and community care, bereavement care, counselling and spiritual care, day hospice care, respite care, equipment hire, as well as education and research.

The services are provided by a multidisciplinary team, which may include: doctors, nurses, counsellors, spiritual counsellors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers. Some services, such as the Life Review biography service, are provided by volunteers. Volunteers assist staff in many areas such as patient support in the inpatient unit.

Where is hospice or palliative care provided?

At home - community hospice palliative care services work alongside the patient's own doctor and family.

At day hospice - services may include medical and nursing care, spiritual support, physiotherapy, occupational therapy as well as varied creative and social activities.

At inpatient facilities - patients are admitted for a few days or weeks for specialist care. This may be for symptom control, respite or last days of life care.

Is it true that once you go to a hospice you are unlikely to leave?

No. Many patients spend a day or two in hospice for symptom control and pain management. They then return to their homes where their care is continued. Hospice palliative care does not have to be provided in a hospice. It is often provided in a person's own home.

People may choose the supportive environment of a hospice inpatient facility. Whatever is best for them their family and friends is accommodated if possible.

Who can use hospice services?

Hospices can provide care for anyone, including children, who has a terminal diagnosis irrespective of age, religion, ethnicity or ability to pay. The majority of patients have cancer but patients with other terminal illnesses also receive care (for example - motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and end stage heart failure).

Do you have to pay for hospice palliative care?

No, hospice or palliative care is offered at no cost to patients and their families.

The cost of care is covered by a contribution from Government through the Ministry of Health; the remainder is raised from the community through fundraising activities.

Are hospices scary places?

No, we try and make hospice a home away from home! Hospices are warm, caring places, which provide the highest possible standard of care to people at their most vulnerable. The emphasis is on improving a person's quality of life and to support their family, whanau and friends. Here at Cranford Hospice, families can stay overnight in our family flat area ... we even have a kitchen to cook in.

What is hospices' position when it comes to euthanasia and physician assisted suicide?

After considerable discussion, international consultation and investigation Hospice NZ has developed a position on this issue. Cranford Hospice has aligned itself with this position. View our position.